Water Activities: Elma's Story

This activity helps children understand the realities that many children in the world live with in regard to accessible, clean water.

This activity helps children understand the realities that many children in the world live with in regard to accessible, clean water.

Place a large bowl or pool of water in the middle of the room. Ask the children to sit in a circle around the water. One at a time, have each child interact with the water. Ask the children what the water feels like, what it looks like, what it tastes like. Pour some more water from a pitcher into the pool and ask them what it sounds like. Explain that 75% of our bodies are made up of water and that we could not survive without it. Then discuss all the ways we use water in our daily lives (drinking, eating, bathing, cleaning, flushing, playing, etc.). We also baptize with water!

Share the following story from Elma from Ethiopia with the children, “I go to collect water four times a day, in a 20-liter clay jar. It’s hard work! I’ve never been to school, as I have to help my mother with her washing work so we can earn enough money. Our house doesn’t have a bathroom. If I could alter my life, I would really like to go to school and have more clothes.”

Elma Kassa, 13-year-old girl, Ethiopia, Source: Church World Service

Discuss Elma’s story. Ask what it would be like to have to walk to get water, or not go to school because you had to help fetch water for your family.

Read Matthew 25:37, “When was it we saw you . . . thirsty?” Discuss the scripture text and ask the children to describe a time when they were thirsty. Pass out cups so that each child can fill their cup with remaining water from the pitcher. One at a time, ask each child to offer the person next to him/her his/her cup of water.

Offerings go to help children like Elma get enough clean water. Our offerings may be in the form of coins and bills, but when we send it to other children in need, it becomes a drink of clean water so they are no longer thirsty. Explain that when we provide water for others who need it, we express our love to God.

Close in prayer:

Dear God, We use water all the time. We drink water every day. We take baths and get clean. We swim in pools in the summertime. We love to play in the water. But we know that not every child in the world has water like we do. So we pray for all the children who do not have water. May all the children of the world have enough water to drink, bathe, and play. May all the water in the world be clean water so people can really use it and not get sick from it. May we learn how to use the water we have in a way that helps others around the world who do not have water. May we share all the blessings God has given us to bless our friends in other places. God, thank you for water. Amen.


Week of Compassion 2006